Catholic college embraces teaching "revolution"

In the technological age, teaching skills and values is more important than teaching content, according to a presenter at a forum hosted by Rosebank College in Sydney.

While emphasising the importance of teaching values to students, leading researcher and educationalist, Ian Lillico claims that the technological revolution has made the teaching of content redundant because the information has such a limited life.

This has major implication for the way Catholic teachers teach, the way students learn and the most effective way of engaging students, Mr Lillico told the "Understanding Your Teenager" forum last week at Rosebank College in Sydney's Five Dock.

According to a Rosebank College media release, Mr Lillico challenged teachers and parents to consider ways in which technology has changed the way we live.

"Each day the world publishes 3,000 new books and less than 10 per cent of these are in English. Doctors' current knowledge will be out dated every 10 months, and teachers' knowledge base will be changing every two days." We cannot keep up with content we therefore have to focus on the skills, he told the participants.

This reality has extensive implications for teachers as they design and implement teaching programs relevant and accessible to young adolescents, he said. "We need to focus on skills if students are to achieve their maximum potential. The teachers need to do less work in the classroom and the students need to do a lot more."

Staff at the forum was interested to consider ways in which their styles of teaching have to adapt to these technological revolution, according to the media release.

However Rosebank College Principal, Tom Galea, challenged this approach by suggesting that, "there is also a need to teach deep, slow learning where students are invited to consider the big questions about life and not to be constantly occupied by multiple small tasks."

One area in which Catholic schools are excelling in is the teaching of values, Mr Lillico said. This focus on the teaching and transition of values has been recently promoted by all Government schools and acknowledges that this skill is seen as critical in development of citizenship.

"Values education is the process of making implicit positive values explicit and applicable to the lives of pur students. This is the foundation for a meaningful life and a strong cohesive society," Mr Lillico said.

In 2003 Mr Lillico became a Fellow of the Australian Council of Education Leaders and, in 2004 became a National Fellow of the Australian Council of Education Leaders. In 2005 he became the Travelling Scholar of the Australian Council of Educational Leaders.

He is recognised as a leader in the field of boys' education worldwide and provides seminars and professional development to teachers and parents.

Photo: Tom Gould, Ian Lillico and Christine O'Dell

Ian Lillico (Rosebank College Media Release 20/7/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Rosebank College, Five Dock
Boys Forward (Corporate)

25 Jul 2006